Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling waded into the world of Muggle politics Wednesday, announcing a 1 million pound ($1.68 million) donation to the campaign against Scottish independence.
Rowling predicted that some pro-independence campaigners would discount her views because she was born and raised in England. She likened that stance to the obsession with pure wizard blood of the villainous characters in her magical saga.
"When people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste," she wrote.
Scots will vote in a Sept. 18 referendum on whether to end their 300-year-old union with England and become an independent country.
Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, said she had decided that "while independence might give us opportunities...it also carries serious risks."
"The more I listen to the Yes campaign, the more I worry about its minimization and even denial of risks," she wrote on her website. "This separation will not be quick and clean: It will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence."
Rowling said she was particularly concerned about the impact on the economy and on funding for medical research in Scotland. She has donated millions to the fight against multiple sclerosis, the disease that killed her mother.
Rowling said the referendum would be a historic moment for Scotland. "I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake."
Rowling, one of Britain's wealthiest writers, said she had made a "substantial donation" to the anti-independence "Better Together" campaign. Spokesman Mark Hutchinson confirmed the donation was 1 million pounds.
Polls show the anti-independence side narrowly ahead among Scottish voters, but pro-independence forces have run a better-funded and more energetic campaign.
Many Scottish celebrities have declined to say how they will vote, though former James Bond star Sean Connery is a prominent independence supporter.
"I also know that there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and I suspect, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve lived in Scotland for twenty-one years and plan to remain here for the rest of my life, that they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view. It is true that I was born in the West Country and grew up on the Welsh border and while I have Scottish blood on my mother’s side, I also have English, French and Flemish ancestry. However, when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste. By residence, marriage, and out of gratitude for what this country has given me, my allegiance is wholly to Scotland and it is in that spirit that I have been listening to the months of arguments and counter-arguments."
tl;dr: J.K. Rowling explains why she is supporting the Better Together Campaign